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Extra, Extra: Argos on the Move, Monuments on the Decline, and Walmart for Kensington

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not miss.

  • The Toronto Argonauts are looking for a new place to play. Under the terms of the team’s latest lease, the 2017 season will be its last one at Rogers Centre. The stadium’s management will be taking advantage of the change to install a grass field for the Blue Jays. (Natural turf isn’t suitable for pro football.)
  • The Sam the Record Man sign isn’t the first Toronto monument to get short shrift as a result of development. Toronto Dreams has the fascinating story of how one of the city’s most famous early monuments became less so, and what Sam “The Record Man” Sniderman’s family had to do with it.
  • Everybody’s upset that Walmart wants to move into Kensington Market, but Hazlitt‘s Bert Archer argues that all the concern is misplaced. “This is a class battle,” he writes, “and those opposed to Walmart are fighting for middle-class preferences against the interests of the working class.”

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  • OgtheDim

    Archer makes some good points.

    Kensington Market isn’t what it was even 10 years ago.

    However, he’s over simplifying the issue to fit a paradigm of class.

    This isn’t an issue of class – its good planning.

    Heck, the issue about Wal-mart isn’t for me the proximity to Kensington, which will survive Wal-mart very well but is changing anyways due to other pressures.

    The issue is the proximity to another Wal-Mart and the whole 130K square foot’s place on a busy throughfare that can’t really handle the traffic.

    That and Rio-Can being ham fisted.

    • The Man With No Name

      Where is there another Wal-Mart close to Bathurst and Dundas?

      I’m no fan of Wal-Mart, but it’s not in the market, and it’s no threat to the yuppies who shop there.

      Yes, Kensington is yuppie central.

      • Testu

        There’s one at Dufferin and Bloor, about 2km away, conveniently located 2 minutes walk from the Dufferin subway station. It’s in a mall with a large parking lot, rather than directly across from a major hospital that has access issues due to traffic as it is.

        Given that a city the size of Brampton has only three Walmarts total, having two within 2km of each other in the west end alone seems unnecessary.

        • The Man With No Name

          Dufferin and Bathurst are fairly far apart and people who live east of Bathurst would use the proposed walmart. Using the Dufferin walmart as an argument against having one on Bathurst is like using Chinatown as an argument against Kensington market produce grocers.

          • Testu

            No, it’s not the same argument at all.

            The proximity isn’t the major issue, it’s just curious more than anything. The major problem is the Dundas and Bathurst intersection and the area around it are already overwhelmed by traffic. The intersection is used heavily by emergency vehicles as there is a hospital right on the corner. The fact that there is a very large Walmart within 2KM that already has adequate parking and transit access raises the question: Does there need to be a Walmart here, on this specific site, given the disadvantages to the location?

            A site in downtown or east of Yonge could provide access to a Walmart to those living east of Bathurst without placing further burden on this already overcrowded intersection.

          • The Man With No Name

            You’re right.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            This is like arguing Bathurst needs its own Eaton Centre, because people living west of Bathurst would find that more convenient.

          • vampchick21

            Ummmm….its actually just a quick subway ride. Get on at Bathurst, get off at Dufferin (only two stops between). And there is another walmart at Gerrard Square in the East for those east of Bathurst who don’t want to go all the way to Dufferin. And for those east of Gerrard Square they also have the option of one in Scarborough. In other words, no one is so desperate for a Walmart that one actually needs to be built in the last place in the core that one needs to be logisitics speaking.

          • The Man With No Name

            There are people who do not live at Bathurst and Bloor.

            Nobody is desperate, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make life a lot easier for a lot of people. But as Tetsu said, the intersection is already overly congested. That’s the only argument. That, and the rich people who live in the are want to keep the working poor out of their sanctuary.

          • Testu

            That, and the rich people who live in the are want to keep the working poor out of their sanctuary.

            I hate to harp on this, but that seems kinda silly. There are wealthy people in that area, for sure. But Kensington and that stretch of Bathurst have plenty of poor residents as well, working and otherwise (hell, look at any of the parks in the area). I find it unlikely that a Walmart is going to significantly alter the demographics in the area.

          • vampchick21

            Do you come by your stupidity naturally or do you have to work hard for it?

            Seriously, the entire TTC and all it’s routes ARE NOT LOCATED SOLELY BETWEEN BATHURST AND DUFFERIN ALONG BLOOR. So don’t be an idiot.

            And you know what? Bathurst and Dundas is hardly a rich area. Far from it.

          • The Man With No Name

            I was referring to you’re suggestion to “Get on at Bathurst,” shitbird. It’s a quick two stop subway ride only if you get on at Bathurst.

            The 2006 census found that 44% of families in the Annex and 39% in “University”, and made over $100,000. Seems like some pretty rich people are living very, very close to Kensington! Oh, but wait: half the families living in Kensington/Chinatown make less than $40,000. I wonder how they feel about being able to get things they need at a low price. Not everyone can afford to support the merchants in Kensington. The world is not a playground for the champagne socialist activist class. Now that Honest Ed’s is doomed, the working poor need someplace to shop.

            The area has become much more “exclusive” since 2006.

          • vampchick21

            Did it ever once occur to you that I was providing one example of many on how to get from Bathurst to the Dufferin mall? Hmmmm? Or are you so stuck on your opinion that you will argue any point to it’s silly threshold? My entire point with that example is that people can easily get to a current Walmart location without having to walk miles barefoot in 10 feet of snow or whatever other insane “those poor, poor people!” excuse you want to come up with.

            And have you actually shopped in that area? Have you looked at every store in that entire area, not just Kensington? Or do you simply have such a hate on hipsters (yea, that’s what the kids call yuppies these days) that you have decided that they are turning every store into….what’s the hot store hipsters are into? No idea. But I think Testu has pointed out a bit of reality regarding the area that you are conveniently ignoring so you can hate on people in the Annex and on University Ave, because you know, they’re nearby and junk, and they are having some mass evil conspiracy to keep the poor poor people down.

            That being said, trust me when I tell you that you can indeed get all kinds of things in the general Bathurst and Dundas area for cheap. Food, cleaning supplies, anything.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            “That, and the rich people who live in the are want to keep the working poor out of their sanctuary.”

            Do you have any evidence at all that this is the case? The Market and surrounding areas – College west of Spadina in particular – are full of locally owned (and employed) non-franchise stores and services, catering to all income levels. Maybe there’s a good reason for these people to oppose the introduction of the most notorious of competitors.

    • OgtheDim

      The proximity issue to me is there is no real demand for this Wal-Mart given how close another one is. And, no, Dufferin and Bathurst are not that far apart.

      This is about Wal-mart keeping out competition.

  • tomwest

    Why isn’t natural turf suitable for CFL?

    • Richard K Niner

      I don’t think it’s so much that as the problem of moving the bleachers around with the grass there…

    • OgtheDim

      Chews up the grass between the hash marks and can’t survive the late October early to mid November cold freeze and thaw cycle.

      Edmonton’s grass field required a huge amount of maintenance which is why they ditched it a few years ago.

      Teams are starting to use a hybrid. Lambeau field in Green Bay does that. As do a few fields in Europe like Arsenal’s.

  • torontothegreat

    “Natural grass isn’t suitable for pro football”


    It simply isn’t as durable, much different. If it wasn’t “suitable” then these teams have really missed the mark: San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Arizona, Kansas City, Cleveland, Green Bay, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Washington, Philadelphia, Denver, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh, which is more than 50% of the teams in the NFL.

  • cliff s

    Why is BMO field such a bad idea?

    Tear down the south end stands so the CFL field will fit, it’s not like TFC needs the room for additional fans after only winning 9 games out of 64 tries the past two seasons.